My Newest Adventure

Per my usual journey through life, I have completely taken the unexpected and “Are you crazy?” path.

First, I feel that a little background information is required.  For several years, I have been offered a job with a company doing field work on their job sites that are building natural gas compressor stations.  I have continuously declined the offer, until now.

I accepted the job only because it will help tremendously with reaching a few of my financial goals within the next year.  So here I am, outside of Washington, DC, working on a compressor station as the only female.  The job is for one year, and I am really hoping I can make it the entire year.  It is 11 days on, and three days off.

I have been here since the first of the year, and I can say that I haven’t seen my neighborhood in the daylight yet.  Dark when I leave for work, and dark when I get back.  I know how my Dad felt all those years.  I am exhausted by 7:00 pm and trying to stay awake just to eat dinner.  My life will be drastically different for the next year, and I hope all of this will be worth it long term.  I took this picture leaving work one night.


My friends keep texting and messaging me to check and see if I am doing ok.  It is pretty funny!  I guess they are worried about my mental state for even being here!  I am not a boots type of person, and my new required steel-toed boots aren’t as bad as I thought they would be.


I also have my own hardhat.  My friends have been asking for a picture with me in all my hi-vis safety gear.  Since I am the only female, I have to have my own bathroom per labor laws (I think labor laws).  So I use the main bathroom on site.  Which from the looks of it, hasn’t ever had a female in it.  I thought I would take a picture in the dirty mirror of my hardhat, and this is how short I am compared to the mirror…It really made me laugh.  If I got closer to the sink,you could only see the very top of my hat.


I would really like a palm tree to put in the corner of my office.  I am having to settle for my Carolina Coast calendar.


Tomorrow is my first day off, and I am going to head down south for the weekend just to reset my patience.  Working with all men…let me just say, I feel like I am in the middle of a 13 year old boys locker room.  I keep telling myself that this adventure will put me exactly where I want to end up and it is only for a year.  Even my alarm clock reminds me when it goes off in the morning.

I want to join the DC swing community while I am here, but I am not sure I have the energy yet.  I am not used to getting up at 5:10 am just yet.  Hopefully, my body will adjust soon so I can have some sort of life outside of work.  I also have a list of places in the area that I want to visit for field trips once I have days off.




DC trip and my spreadsheet

I am a fly by the seat of my pants planner.

I love adventures, but I will make sure I am prepared-or at least as much as I can be given time. For the DC trip, this included a spreadsheet covering each day. Mom and Aunt Thelma laughed at me, but it came in handy. Here is mom shaking her head at my color coded spreadsheet for our trip.

I dislike sitting around, waiting for plans to be made. I planned each day around the prearranged tours, and had musuems listed that were nearby. This was to cut out unnecessary walking back and forth. I also color coded the pre-arranged tours and museums differently so they would be able to figure out where we had set in stone timed-tours and just drop-in trips to museums.

I made sure to list places to eat that would be around us that I knew they would like, which meant Coke products for my aunt.  They laughed, but they were very happy when I would pull it out of my purse to find that Diet Coke my aunt wanted.

DC trip- day three, Virginia in our 50-States Tour


Day three of the Austin Ladies exploring Washington, DC. Today, we visited Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. We took the trolley tour, of course. The cemetery is very beautiful. I have always felt calm in cemeteries, and never been one to be afraid of death. We arrived at the Unknown Soldier’s Tomb, and I was happy to see an Honor Flight attending the changing of the guard.


The Honor Flight members I met were from upstate New York, and they said 84 were on this flight. They were adorable, and all reminded me of my grandfather. The gentleman in the above picture (standing next to me taking the picture) was a Korean War veteran said he goes on the flight all the time, and he just bebop-ed around. Spunky little guy.


Arlington Cemetery was just beautiful. We didn’t get to see JFK’s grave, as the changing of the guard at the Unknown Soldier’s is only once an hour. We wouldn’t have made the trolley stop, so we decided to see the Unknown Soldier’s Tomb. My mom is a huge fan of President John F. Kennedy, even with his “charming and charismatic way with women”.

This will be on my list to visit again. Mom and Thelma didn’t want to walk much, so I saved my on-foot exploring for another day. Mom and Aunt Thelma really enjoy riding the trolleys while the tour guide gives facts over the speakers.

This trip will count for our visiting the state of Virginia for our 50-states tour.

DC trip- Day two of exploration

Day two of exploring Washington, DC included our tour of the White House- bright and early at 8:30.

Telling two Southern Magnolia Ladies that they cannot carry their handbags into the White House was pretty amusing.  My mom and aunt didn’t seem to fully understand what, “No bags of any kind, including pocketbooks” meant at first.

They kept asking,”Well, where am I supposed to put my kleenex?” and “What about my phone?”.  My answers were the same, give it to me.  I felt like the parent on a school field trip.  My pockets were completely full of kleenex, maps, phones, driver’s licenses, money, and our confirmation email.  Our tour was at 8:30 am, and I had enough sense to have us ride a cab to the White House.  The funny thing is that neither of them would hail a cab, and would wait for me to come and do it.  So these two are standing on the side of the street watching the cabs go by, while I finish locking the door.  I am really happy that the White House decided that we can now take pictures inside, just no flash.  We arrived at our tour line a little after 8:00 am, and security was pretty fast and efficient to get through.


The White House is as awesome as I thought it would be, but seeing Marine One in the lawn preparing to take off was even better!wpid-imag3959.jpg

By the time Marine One took off, we were standing outside, so I was able to get this shot.


Leaving the White House to get some breakfast.


I usually forget to pick up souvenirs on trips, but I did get a few at the White House.


The funniest thing happened while the ladies we’re resting on a park bench. As they sat down, my aunt said, “Look at those two old ladies collapsed on that bench.” I flipped my head around in the area I thought she was referring and started getting up, and asked “Where?” I was going to go and help them! My two ladies started laughing harder than usual at me. I didn’t realize they were talking about themselves! This is right after they calmed down from laughing at me. It was nice to have my mom laugh, she has never been one to laugh easily.


We also went on the Trolley Tour, and they loved it! When we returned to the rental home, they ended up staying in and knitting and crocheting while I went solo exploring for a bit.